He is former governor of Utah and the namesake of a very rich man. His father, a Salt Lake City bazillionaire, owns a chemical company that really blossomed when it created packaging for McDonald's Big Macs. His father also served in the Nixon administration, so Jon Huntsman Jr. lived in Washington as a young boy.
GOP presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman says he's the most qualified Republican in the White House race, thanks to his background as governor of Utah, a corporate executive, and as U.S. Ambassador to China. But if Huntsman had lived out his youthful ambition, he would have been none of those things.
"My initial passion in life was to be a rock-and-roll musician," Huntsman told graduates at the University of South Carolina in May.
There are at least a dozen Republicans considering a run for the White House in 2012. As part of a series, NPR is profiling some of them to find out what first sparked their interest in politics.
In 1971, Jon Huntsman Jr. visited the White House. He was 11 years old, and his father was a businessman and adviser to Richard Nixon. The young Huntsman, the story goes, met Henry Kissinger that day and helped carry his luggage to the car.